$$$ backup plans? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 02-02-2013, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Assuming many of us un/homeschoolers have only one income-


wondering what you all plan (or dont) in case your partner couldn't work for some reason (like illness, injury, death)? DO you have some savings for a rainy day? A plan to find a job? Some other plan? 

(this happened to someone i know who was homeschooling and it really has me thinking...) 

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#2 of 9 Old 02-02-2013, 01:00 PM
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Disability insurance. Savings. School. In that order.



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#3 of 9 Old 02-02-2013, 09:48 PM
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Savings and insurance. I work a bit but my salary would hardly be enough to live on.
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#4 of 9 Old 02-02-2013, 10:21 PM
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We own a business together. I'd certainly have to increase the staff and hire someone else to take over DH's top position if he couldn't work long term, and the following year move farther into the burbs to reduce col and rent, but I don't think our income would necessarily change that drastically. We could also move in with family for a year or two, which we would probably do if he died, although we also have good life insurance for that situation. Short-term illness, we have disability insurance, and I'd have to hire someone to take over his position for a shorter term.

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#5 of 9 Old 02-03-2013, 02:07 AM
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well as a single parent not sure what i would do. My job has slow times of the yr and i try to cut bills and save money for those. I used my tax refund this yr to pay off the car loan so as I could cut my bills down a bit.

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#6 of 9 Old 02-03-2013, 02:04 PM
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oh goodness no idea. None at all. We do have some insurance, plus our house would be paid off if dp died through his works benefit-and I guess long term I'd move back closer to grandparents and see if I could work and homeschool (my parents in particular are very supportive and would certainly do everything they could). I think I'd really do what I could to make it work, I can't imagine anything worse that losing a parent and so having to go to school in short order (not that school is a terrible, terrible thing, just that at that time in your life the last thing I think a kid would want is such a huge change). Hmm perhaps I should give this matter some consideration...

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#7 of 9 Old 02-03-2013, 04:24 PM
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This is not just a homeschooling issue. This is an issue that affects all stay at home parents. Every one income family needs life insurance, disability insurance, three months salary or more for savings and home that doesn't eat up all your monthly income. Ideally, we all have college degrees and can re-enter the workforce if the need should the arrive. You would want to be able to remain in your home for a time after a spouse dies. I've read in several grief books that its better for children to "mourn in place". Meaning, not to have to suffer a life upheaval like moving after a death of a parent.
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#8 of 9 Old 02-04-2013, 06:06 AM
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I think its a hard call. Yeah in the ideal world we'd have x amount of savings, x amount of insurance. We'd be educated to college level and have kept our hand in the workforce enough to re-enter. The reality of this for us is that in order to build these up we'd have to make significant savings and cut backs in the here and now. Our kids would not be able to do music lessons or take part in music activities (our big, big expense). We'd have to get rid of the car, meaning dp would have a two hour daily commute. Or alternatively, I'd have to work which would have a lot of other knock on effects for our family quality of life.


I understand frugality and practice it. We're not frittering away our savings at Starbucks. We avoid debt like the plague. At the same time, we've seen our family income drop year on year for the past ten years however and have had to make the choice. Basic insurance and the here and now, or cut back to literally subsistence level and build up savings. We've gone for the former.


I think its worth pointing out too that there are other forms of security. Our homeschooling lifestyle has meant that we have far closer ties to extended family, living a distance away, than we'd otherwise have. Our kids have learnt to be relatively self sufficient, and also to communicate emotions very honestly. My hunch, and I accept its a massive overgeneralisation, is that the experience of losing a parent, while devastaing, and even having to go to school and perhaps move would be a different one for any child parented in the very honest way that tends to characterise homeschooling families (and many non-homeschooling families). What I'm trying to say is that although we don't have savings and investments that would necessarily allow us to minimise life changes if we lost the main wage earner, I feel that the time invested in other things, time not spent earning money, would actually more than make up for this.


I didn't know, when I was 18, that I would be homeschooling my kids. If I had, I would certainly have made different life choices because I do agree that security is helpful. In particular I think I'd have done a vocational degree in something like midwifery which you can go back to quite easily round here. I'd have saved much better pre-kids. However, dealing with what I have, I'm not willing to sacrifice the here and now completely to the small but awful chance of something dreadful happening.


I do also think that this is a particular issue for homschoolers, because homeschooling tends to mean one parent is at home longterm, not advancing in a career or bringing in money, and hence the family is financially very vunerable.

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#9 of 9 Old 02-04-2013, 06:54 AM
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I actually think about this a lot. Because of my medical issues, sometimes I worry (hopefully irrationally!) that DH & DS will have to go it on their own. We cannot afford life insurance and are already living off our savings (which is running out at this point) so financially there aren't too many options. If one of us died, we'd get a small amount from social security, but that's it. We really can't afford to "be prepared" when financially we're barely making it as it is.

I'm not too worried about a temporary illness/disability, because I suppose we'd just get whatever welfare-type assistance we'd be eligible for until we got back on our feet, or ask for help from friends, etc.

I am concerned about one of us dying, because no matter how frugally we try to live, we need the two of us to make it work! I suppose in a permanent situation like that, we'd just send DS to school. It's not our preference, but it's not our hill to die on either... if it somehow makes life livable for those who have survived, school just isn't the end of the world, I'm sure somehow DS will make the best of it. However, we would consider other options as well. My career/educational background is in a field where I can easily work from home, so I'd have that option. DH would not, he has to work on site. We have some very very close friends who are like family, and I'd like to think we could rely on them some in a worst-case scenario... most of them are homeschooling families so perhaps they'd be willing to HS my DS alongside their kids or take care of them in the evenings or something... I know I'd be willing to do this for them. I'd also entertain the idea of a drastic change like moving to a very low COL area or even out of the country to somewhere where it would be more sustainable to continue to HS.

It's sad to think about, and hard to have any set plan without knowing all the circumstantial details.

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